5 Home Projects To Do This Season
Now that we are getting close to wrapping up another hot and humid summer, we have been fielding many questions about home and yard maintenance in preparation for the fall. These are our recommendations for every Arizona homeowner as the temperatures begin to drop.
1 | Heating & Air Conditioning Maintenance
The biggest change in the use and operation of your HVAC unit is going from cooling to heating. Most people don’t consider heating their homes until the outside temperature reaches around 60 degrees or below. We suggest scheduling your annual heating tune-up before the cooler temperatures, so your system is ready to handle the winter cold. For gas heaters, a tune-up should include an inspection of the entire unit. Be sure to verify the gas line and ignitor are in working order. Electric heat pumps should be inspected or serviced once a year, ensuring all parts are working properly. Do not worry if you smell a burning odor when first turning the system on, as this is dust being burned off the unit.
2 | Seasonal Landscaping & Gardening
Depending on what you have in your yard, this may involve a few things. Your irrigation should be adjusted every season to account for the weather changes. We suggest using a professional landscaper to analyze your fall watering needs. Bermuda grass will be dying in the next couple of months as the nights grow cooler. Consider skipping a winter lawn this year due to the drought conditions.
Talk to your landscaper or nursery whether your trees should be pruned.
If you have a vegetable garden, it may be worth prepping the soil for the fall season. John Jay Harper, our gardening expert, suggests using a recipe that will do wonders for your fall garden. For every 100 sq. ft. or 10×10 section, you’ll need the following items:
- Six bags of 1.5-2.0 cubic feet quality compost soil.
- 10 pounds of gypsum.
- One to two bags of sulfur.
- Five pounds of organic fertilizer.
He recommends tilling the mixture down to a 12-inch depth and watering it once before planting. When it comes to what types of vegetables you should plant, root and leaf vegetables will do best and will be ready to harvest by spring. Root vegetables to plant may be radishes, carrots, and beets to name a few. Your leaf vegetables could be spinach, lettuce, and kale.
3 | Clean the Chimney
It is strongly recommended to have the chimney serviced before the first burn of the year. Whether it is a gas or wood fire chimney will determine what exactly needs to be done. For wood-burning chimneys have the flue, flue pipe, and damper inspected. Gas chimneys should also have the flue pipe inspected in addition to gas fittings and the log set as well. Additionally, if the fireplace has a direct vent, we suggest having that checked periodically. Have the creosote buildup removed from the fireplace, too.
4 | Maintain the Pool for Fall Use
Typically, you’ll want to wait until highs are down into the 80s before performing any fall maintenance. Start with your pool motor, as the runtime can be lowered by a couple of hours during off-peak times. The cooler temperature also means less chlorination is needed for the pool. Either test the water yourself or bring a sample to your local pool supply store to ensure you are not over-chlorinating. Keep an eye out for falling foliage, as deciduous trees will begin to shed leaves during this time which can cause the system to clog.
5 | Schedule a Roof Inspection
Even if you missed having your roof inspected in the spring, we recommend having it inspected before our winter rains, despite the fact the roof did not show signs of leaking during the most recent monsoon. Roofers are incredibly busy in the summer months due to the monsoons. It would be in your best interest to call now to get on their schedule.
We discuss our recommendations every Arizona homeowner should consider before temperatures begin to drop into fall and winter. Tackling homeowner questions on a sticky garage door, water heater maintenance, roof shingle issue, removing a non-load bearing wall and more!